MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — It would be easy to mistake the feverish activity in New Hampshire over the past week for excitement.

The state has been abuzz with Democratic presidential campaign events, armies of canvassers knocking on doors, curious voters from neighboring states coming to get a look at the candidates, and here in Manchester, swarms of reporters and camera crews.

But when you talk to voters, the overarching feeling isn’t excitement or optimism, but anxiety. Having gotten a close look at the candidates, Granite State Democrats are worried none of them can beat Trump.


They have good reason to worry. Between his powerful State of the Union address, the impeachment acquittal, rising approval ratings, and the Democratic debacle in Iowa, last week was arguably the best of Trump’s presidency. The economy is strong, approval of the Republican Party is the highest it’s been since 2005, and the two Democratic frontrunners are a 78-year-old avowed socialist and a gay 38-year-old former mayor of a small midwestern city.

All of this has not escaped the notice of New Hampshire primary voters, who go to the polls tomorrow in the first presidential primary election of 2020. That’s one reason so many of them I spoke to just days before the election were still undecided.